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Title: Implementation of supply chain management theory in practice : an empirical investigation in Ireland
Author: Sweeney, Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 6277
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2013
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Since its introduction by management consultants in the early 1980s, the supply chain management (SCM) concept has risen to prominence in both academic and commercial circles. A substantial body of academic knowledge has been, and continues to be, developed in the broad SCM domain. There is significant evidence that the effective implementation of SCM can result in improvements in the performance of firms. However, there is also evidence of a divergence between theory and practice in terms of SCM understanding and adoption. The fundamental purpose of the research described in this thesis is to disentangle the rhetoric from the reality in relation to SCM adoption in practice with specific reference to the situation in Ireland. Based on a comprehensive literature review the thesis posits a new definitional construct for SCM – the Four Fundamentals – and sets out four research questions. Answering these questions requires that a methodologically pluralist approach be adopted based on the author’s multi-paradigmatic philosophical positionality. In line with this, the empirical work comprises three main phases: focussed interviews, focus groups and a questionnaire survey. All phases use the author’s definitional construct as their basis. The data collected during the various stages of the empirical research allowed this definitional construct to be further developed. In addition, the findings suggest that, while levels of SCM understanding are generally quite high, there is room for improvement in relation to how this understanding is implemented in practice. In this context, a number of critical success factors and/or barriers to implementation are identified, as are a number of practical measures that could be implemented at policy/supply chain/firm level to improve the level of effective SCM adoption. There are some limitations in the author’s research and their identification allows some potentially fruitful future research avenues to be identified. This research contributes to the extant scholarly knowledge in the field by providing a profile of the current level of adoption of SCM theory in practice in an Irish context, as well as by contributing to scholarly rationalisation and understanding of the process of realising SCM theory in a practical context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business